By Chris Norton, Head of SEO at Amaze.
Real-time search is now integrated into Google and Bing’s search results, so it is important for companies to know when people are mentioning their brands online, where these citations are being found and to understand their context and the sentiment behind them.
SEO should be utilised in conjunction with social media to ensure the right keywords are being used in tweets from company twitter accounts as it is possible for these comments to appear above traditional natural listings, albeit for a short period of time.
If conversations are happening and these comments are appearing above your organic listing for searches on your brand name, then it surely pays to be involved in these conversations.
The imminent release of Google’s Caffeine update (so named because it is intended to sharpen up the relevance and speed of the returned results) is widely expected to take the context and sentiment of conversations about your brand into account when determining your organic rank.
More and more people have mobile devices capable of delivering a similar quality of browsing experience as desktop computers. This increase of traffic to websites from mobile handsets requires webmasters to ensure that their websites display correctly on the most popular devices and their supported browsers.
Mobile SEO ensures that all important site content can be viewed as intended and navigated to quickly.
In most cases a dedicated mobile orientated version of the website is required, optimised for the search terms used by mobile audiences and which are usually more succinct and increasingly feature town, city or place names i.e. “Cinemas in Manchester” and “Indian restaurants in Leeds”.
This year will see the mass-adoption of Microformats such as rich snippets and hcards within HTML code as a means of semantically labelling web content. Content including product name, description, brand, price and reviews can be included in mark-up for Google to pull into their search results as appropriate.
Google’s continuing efforts to deliver the most relevant content to users and the increase in mobile internet usage from GPS enabled handsets will increase competition for local traffic from search engines.
Any opportunity for a company to reinforce its regional credentials must be seized if they are to retain high rankings for searches on locally targeted search terms.
Link diversity will become more important than ever, with websites needing backlinks and brand citations from a broad range of web properties such as news sites, blogs, micro blogging platforms such as Twitter, social networks such as Facebook and Bebo, as well as social bookmarking sites like Digg and del.icio.us.
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